Interuniversity Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology

ERC Condolidator Grant for Tobias Stark

Research proposal ‘DualNets: Bridges in social networks: Harnessing dual identity to improve interethnic relations’ awarded

Tobias Stark (Associate Professor Utrecht University) received a European Consolidator Grant (2021 call; €2 million) for the project ‘DualNets: Bridges in social networks: Harnessing dual identity to improve interethnic relations’

This project will test a new theory: that interethnic prejudice can be reduced by minority members who identify with both their ethnic group and the national majority group, because these dual identifiers can create social bridges between communities.

However, not all dual identifiers are recognized as such by others, and misperception may undermine the bridging that dual identifiers can accomplish. I expect that dual identifiers’ relationships with members of both groups are signals of their dual belonging, but that the degree to which these signals are picked up depends on people’s perception of the structure of their social networks. Moreover, I expect that recognizing dual identifiers reduces prejudice but, again, this depends on people’s perceptions of dual identifiers’ positions in a network. To test these expectations, this project will develop a new method to measure perceptions of people’s ethnicity and their relationships in social networks. A combination of methodological approaches from qualitative in-depth interviews and GPS tracking to novel statistical social network models will be employed to analyze people’s perceptions of their social networks.

More about Tobias Stark: https://www.uu.nl/staff/thstark